Identity and Solidarity
We are Christians. We confess that Jesus is our savior and Lord. What does that mean when we have relationship with other people in the world?
When we say that Jesus is our Savior, we are professing our Identity. We are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ who died on the Cross. We were sinners, who were separated from God. However, Jesus restored the relationship through his death on the Cross, paying all the debt for our sins, and transformed our status from the sinners outside into the children of God in the Kingdom of God. We gather together at church and worship God, praising the mighty acts of God in Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. Worship is the main activity in our church when we profess our identity. Fellowship with the fellow Christians and nurturing in Christian faith are the other important ministries that we can do together.
However, when we say that Jesus is our Lord, we are ready to be obedient to God’s commandments. Because Jesus is our Lord we should listen to Him every day and every moment. He wants us to live up to the high moral and ethical codes as children of God. So, we keep the commandments not because we are forced to do that as salves but because we are willing and able to do that as children of God’s Household. So, in doing good things and services, we are reaching out to other communities and people through our Solidarity. As a saved person, now I have joy and willingness to serve others and to contribute to the society. We can go to Guatemala medical mission with Buddhist doctors and we can help natural disaster victims with Muslim communities. In these services, we can hold hands of others whether the persons are Christians or not. Mission is the main activity in our church when we confirm our solidarity. Fellowship with the non-Christians and learning from the non-Christian groups and persons are other important activities that we can participate.
So, who is Jesus? Jesus is my Savior and Lord. I have found my identity in my confession to Jesus as my Savior. I have reasons to hold hands with non-Christians in my confession to Jesus as the Lord. Let us keep our identity as Christians. We should not lose it. Let us expand our solidarity with other groups in serving the humanity in the whole world. Let us remember that God so loved the “world” that he gave his only Son, so that “everyone” who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Can we have worship with other religions? Yes and No. Yes, when we have national disaster like 9/11 terrorist attack we have worship “with” other religions at the same place and it is a “mission outreach.” When we have graduation ceremony many religious leaders come and say their own prayers. However, that is not “worship” to our Lord. We have to have our worship “with” other religions but we cannot participate in their confessions because we want to keep our identity. We are there to be with others for our outreach to the non-Christians in a gentle and humble way. Even when we keep our identity we do not want to offend others and make them go away from the truth.
God sends rain and sun light to everybody. We find reasons for solidarity in that. God’s invitation is for everybody in the world. We hear God’s commandment for reaching out to the world. However, we do not lose our identity and say that Jesus is the way, truth, and life for everybody.
What do you think will happen when a person is drowned and a life guard tries to save the person? If the life guard is well trained and strong, he or she will save a life. If the life guard is not ready and weak, not only the person but the life guard also will be drowned and die. Same thing can happen when a Christian meets non-Christians in diverse settings. If we keep our relationship with God well we are ready to meet others without losing our Christian identity. If we are not sure ourselves about what we believe, we are losing not only others but ourselves, too. May God be with us all when we keep the balance between our identity as Christians and solidarity with non-Christians!